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Logo of InVerse, 3rd Quarter 2020: Foundations of Discipleship

05-Power of Discipleship - Witnessing

Justin Kim Sebastien Braxton Jonathan Walter Callie Williams


Is it possible to become spiritually obese?



  • July 27, 2020
    9:00 AM

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Is it possible to gain spiritual weight and is it possible to have too much of it find out on this episode of a nurse. Coming to you from Silver Spring Maryland welcome to enter the Bible based conversation on life principles contemporary issues and thought provoking the hour here's your host just until within right. Hey friends welcome to this episode of inverse we're so happy that you decide to join us in the midst of this crazy season that were in to be online with my friends and I to talk about the Bible you can join us in our study by going to inverse Bible dot org And there you can see our online bible study guides from the past present and maybe even some future ones as well this time invite my friends to say hi to them want to welcome them would have ordered prayer rascality can you pray for us yeah. Father in heaven we thank you so much for the privilege it is to study your work together and as we search its pages as we read different stories I asked you to open our eyes that you would show us what you want to see and we would see something we can apply even to our days right now we ask in prayer all this in Christ's name. Amendment and I'm well thanks Kelly and we've been in a discussion about the topic of discipleship and we cover a lot of things in the last 2 weeks we looked at and coming in clean this week 3 elements that we can do practically for our discipleship we looked at reading and feeding we look at air and prayer and today we're looking at fitness and we're in essence kind of allusion back to to my eye opener going to Acts chapter 8 x. chapter 8 and Sebastian if you can read starting from verse 26 or 76 weeks absolutely that's 8 verse 26 now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying Iraq is in go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza this is desert so he arose and went and behold a man of Ethiopia the eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Vo peons who had charge of all her Treasury and that come to Jerusalem to worship was returning and sitting in his chariot he was reading Isaiah the prophet then the Spirit said to Philip go near and overtake this chariot so Philip ran to him and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah Insead Do you understand when you are reading and he said how can I unless someone guides me and he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the scripture which you read with this or any reason there and he he reads from from Isaiah 53 so sorry to interrupt a minute maybe skip to verse 34 and our readers 34 The Bible says so the eunuch answered Philip and said I ask you of whom does the prophet say this of himself or of some other man then Philip opened his mouth and beginning at the scripture preached Jesus to him now they went down the road and there came they came to some water and the eunuch said See here is here is water what hinders me from being baptized then Philip said if you may believe with all your heart you may and he answered and said I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God So he commanded the chariot to stand still and both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and he baptized them now when they came up out of the water the spirit of the Lord caught Philip away so that the Unix saw him no more and he went on his way rejoicing by Philip was found in as it to us and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Cicero and this is just an amazing passes for missing passage Jonathan what's going on in this passage give us kind of a brief or review in the context or accept or. Yes absolutely and so we see here Philip who was one of the deacons that is mentioned in Chapter 7 actually who was you know he did the call to to go into all the world to preach the Gospel and so he was on his way and the Holy Spirit guided him to this Ethiopian eunuch to share the gospel with him and Philip was very much in tune with the spirit listening to his voice and obeyed it and in turn receives an experience that is really amazing leading a person to Christ baptizing and then going on with the mission so really a powerful nor in the book of Acts That's why do we pick this passage in Acts Chapter 8 we looked at kind of we're looking at frequency in a sense we look at air and prayer we should be praying without ceasing we should be breathing without ceasing as if you stop breathing you die we should be eating fruit and you're reading the Bible together not what we're eating in any clear frequency we should be doing it every day and sometimes there are some elements about chewing and eating and digesting is very similar to deciding the word but we also now are looking at witnessing in finessing and focusing is a verb in the city and that is our secondly how often should we be working out how often should York I'm going to Sebastian our resident working out guy who is a former military officer how often do you work out and what do you recommend to all of us. Well for myself I workout probably about 6 days out of 7 sometimes twice a day depending on the workout what it includes But I would not recommend most people do that you really want to get your baseline fitness levels together 1st make sure your body is functional and then you want to move to a more aggressive so you kind of move well and then you move often so you load a pattern you increase the duration or the resistance in that same movement patterns but you want to make sure that your pattern is fundamentally sound with your own body weight 1st so I'd say 44 times a week and at least 30 minutes continually gives you the optimal results from your work out there you have our health not good for for the week fair that we heard it from our expert life coach here and it's true we should be all exercising the reality is many of us do not exercise that's where we want to get the sometimes will point this is that we could be reading our Bibles and praying and then quote having a Ok spiritual life but without exercise we may be gaining spiritual weight and becoming these lethargic and indolent Christians so special recommended 3030 to 30 minutes a day we should at least have some component of witnessing and then we see principles of witnessing in this chapter as Jonathan described I want to ask Cally What are some things that you see in accepted as are the cop outs you that give us principles of witnessing. Yeah one aspect I really like about this story is how Philip approaches this person so he doesn't just come up and say Right Hey let me explain to you what you're reading so a.b.c. but he starts out with the question of verse 30 re says you understand what you're reading and then. He gives and companies and how can I And then he ask questions in verse 34 so it kind of starts as a conversation verses so I'm just kind of monologuing at the guy and so I appreciate the conversation aspect and the the not so felt doesn't come into same like let me just like drop off men from ation from this person but he's like I don't want to know like how can I help him in the way that he feels it at this moment and it's really great point and I also think just in the thing I love is in verse 26 The Bible says now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza and this is desert and so it's interesting to me to notice that the Holy Spirit when we make ourselves available for witnessing actually guides us into situations it's showing us that the Holy Spirit is preparing people for us to reach if we are just willing to make ourselves available so how many of us are neglecting opportunities to be a part of a miracle of God and of the leading of the mission have a will a willing heart and so men are somehow this kind of bird's eye view that God has already has and they just have a conversation a dialogue just a natural part of who you are an excellent is that it's really powerful but the best I think here when we make ourselves available to the Spirit He will guide us I have yet to experience a time where I asked God for a divine appointment and he doesn't give it to me just the other day I was praying that God will give me an open door to reach my neighbor somehow connect with them and sure enough an opportunity arose were they invited me inside their home for the 1st time and we were able to connect on the personal level which hopefully by God's grace will lead to something deeper in it later on. But another thing that I know that goes along in verse 26 and kind of Sebastian touched upon it it says here that the Holy Spirit led him on this road and then it's this desert sometimes when we ask God to lead us and guide us he will lead us into places we would not naturally want to go to I mean the desert is nice maybe for a brief visit but you don't want to stay there but the powerful thing in the story is how the Holy Spirit leads us from the desert to the water of life later on with the baptism so we got to trust him in the process sometimes things don't look the way we might expect them to look like but if we trust them even a desert place can reveal you know a miracle and a powerful experience I really see the Holy Spirit kind of like a g.p.s. system in the back of the back of Philip's mind if you like a needle is near to a specific road and then the speed limit you can go faster here go over take the chariot and then you know coming up ahead is some water so f. everything just my yes and you see the willingness of just a mile of the Spirit's leaning Sometimes we get into these extremes of witnessing and I want to ask you all sometimes we think of witnessing and freaks people out if sometimes it's freaks me out that we think we need proof that Jesus is coming to tomorrow and then the Empire's are on the ball in the you know all that and we got to where we're close and where we are food and just be weird and that is witnessing and then the other extreme is I'm just going to smile and I'm just going to be and Rast are saying and people will know Jesus like how do we differentiate and what is this passage say what real witnessing is and to avoid those those those extremes want to Cali you know. The big thing that I see again just from from this example is that Philip is asked the question s.s. is where this person is and then minister to them in that way so he had questions about this passage to Philip explain this passage or give to a very brief examples so one time I was studying with a friend and we were talking about class work and just in passing she said something to the effect of yeah well I guess that's why you know God killed my dad because I wasn't good enough. I can't read your Bible study but she she said that and so I was like you know do you mind if I share something with you so I took her to the Book of Job and we talked about that and so that was an opportunity now I could have ignored and been like without was I don't agree with that but we have to be for a test of this is awkward. Another example of it was recently our study was someone else completely different programs cool everything and I could tell that she was really stressed about something else and she starved her sister was diagnosed with cancer and so I talked to her about that and just let her talk and then at the end of Mike you know do you mind if I do I pray with you and she's like Sure how do you how do you pray and so you know she has no experience with this but she trusts my heart and so we pray together and it brings her to tears and I praise God for that opportunity and I tell her that I pray for Ernest every day and she's super thankful for that so I think you know those kinds of opportunities were I was listening to what these people were saying and I didn't say and by the way Jesus is coming soon because that wasn't the time for that but as I say that the different parts of truth it can lead to that in those conversations so I think a big for one context I love the question answer and the power of the listening and then trying to meet their need here in Acts Chapter 8 he's talking to them indicate Are you understanding what you're reading they're just kind of looking over your shoulder waiting Isaiah 53 do you understand and he was like I don't and then as he's meeting the new me whether it's an emotionally or psychologically a social need or even intellectual need we are called to meet the needs and then witness to them afterwards when we come back we're going to look at the 3 elements of the practical elements of discipleship and look at reading and feeding air prayer and fitness when this so stay with us. Has embraced been a blessing to you Do you have questions comments or feedback you'd like to leave us find us on social media by searching in 1st Bible on Facebook Twitter Instagram or You Tube while they're joining us like us part us thumbs up us our handle again is inversed Bible no spaces now back to the discussion. Hey welcome back we're looking at the topic of discipleship in Acts Chapter 8 and when it comes to witnessing some people love it or like man I got to go out there and want to talk to as many people as possible and have that experience and be like Philip as others there are some of the like not for me that's for like the Super Christian not for me I want to ask my friends on this of a so it's got to Cally like why oh why should we witness how does this impact our what are the benefits are there benefits and so even me thinking about benefits. Yet there's there's many different benefits I'm a different reasons why we should be geisha witnessing one of them is just because Jesus intrusted to us the ministry of reconciliation we're ambassadors for Christ himself as a subsequent DNS but even if you want to look at it from like a purely selfish perspective like what is it for me at the we shouldn't look at that but use the can in this case because it's you know good for us when we witness it I think I would know maybe like 25 percent of what I do know if I'd never engage in witnessing because people ask me questions and I don't know the answer and so it forces me to to pray more and to study the Bible more rigorously and if no one had asked me I could've been like well it's difficult question of the answer is really change anything for me like whatever and easy to skip over things but it's it's by feeling you know seen how this person is coming to me and I have a responsibility that helps me step up and just engage with Christ more so my relationship with Jesus is stronger and more unrest because of witnessing and you know I think too sometimes we don't want to witness because like you said we think over Christians will do that or just that mentality of someone else will do it but something that's really helped me is I've seen how Jesus has put me in particular in very specific situations where my personality my life. Perience Jesus uses those things to reach someone so whether you're super actually like Sebastian or you're introverted like the rest of us you know Jesus do you can use that to reach people and even if not a 1000000000 people there are certain people that Jesus wants to use to minister to a man and in 50 that are particularly the the uniqueness and the weirdness and individuality of Sebastian is I mean there's a unique combination here Bastion where only Sebastian can reach some kind of people and the unique is about how he can only reach other of these other types that Cally could reach in the Johnsons and Justin's out there so if we say that all these are for Christians were almost kind of like knocking out a certain branch of a category of people if I can even say that and we are it's out of them special What is it about human nature that really just turns us off I mean I know that you are interested in the extroverted. And so it comes natural for Sama natural and unnatural for others I mean and I appreciate it Kelly's coming so far Be sure to give us practical things on on how to make it natural what is it inside of us that just just off that factor. But I think a big part of it is a lot of us when we think about relationships which are essential to evangelism and successful discipleship we don't think about going out of our way to be from people that we wouldn't necessarily naturally connect with and I think that resistance of the fact that our friends are people that we kind of grew organically we had similar interests who grew up in the same neighborhood who went to the same law school or whatever the case may be and so we naturally built a friendship but in discipleship evangelism you're being intentional about the relationship that you're building and so it's like wow I'm trying to force a friendship and what happens if our personalities clash what happens if we just don't jive or like he grew up in inner city you know in l.a. and I grew up somewhere else in the suburbs and I can't really relate to his experience we feel like we're not able to reach that type of person if we have that sort of disconnect between us you know most insightful The more of a connection we have with us it actually enable us to have more connection other people that says a lot of cliché but as the creator of all humanity the more we connected them the more we have connect ability with others and I appreciate that emphasis on connection and friendship and relationships where sometimes. The ship and evangelism kind of disconnects us from people that's the i.x. And Jonathan what do we do with people who maybe have a lot of motive or maybe they used to be there or not there or sometimes we get into why is my motive pure or are not and we get into the psychological thing about that yeah. So I struggled with this at times where I was lacking motivation or genuine compassion for other people wanting to go out there I would with my mind I would understand yes they need the Gospel Yes we need to help but I wasn't really emotionally invested and thinking you know this really needs to happen and so what really helped me personally it was looking at Jesus. On the cross and this sounds cliche but it is really true when you ponder upon the sacrifice of Christ for your life when you realize the agony he went through on the cross the self left heart of God when he see all that in the light of the cross you realize your own brokenness you realize what incredible compassion God has for you and you will see that. The whole world through that lens that God loves everyone to an incredible degree and if you love me. That love of him towards me will awaken a lot in me for him and for others that's the one thing and this is the 2nd point is also I found in the passage a restudying it I like how it says in but see here to host Peter speaking to him in verse. 29 it says the spirits at the Philip go new year so the command of the holes to come close to the people sometimes we will learn compassion by just engaging with people I remember I was ministering to some people in my church district and I had no desire it was a very you know ugly filthy situation out to walk into this family and so I remember going down like a high really don't want to do it with everything in me the natural impulses were like No you don't want to do it but once I got close to the people I saw the hurt and the pain that they were going through and I remember tears in my eyes because I realized this you know Jesus has done so much more for me than I'm doing right here but in waking me and in a compassion not because I was better but a Cuz I realized I'm just like them in need of Jesus and so it helped me to to have more genuine desire to help people so 2 things again looking at the cross and then coming close to people makes a huge difference sometimes you know the motivation comes out when you are in the process of connecting with people it's just a decision you got to make but when you are doing it with Jesus he will grow and you'd have compassion and appreciate that comment especially with Jesus in the background of your shot there you have your patients are usually. To position has been very powerful Sebastian I wanted to jump in there I was just going to jump in off of what Jonathan saying in the fact that one of the conflicts I used to have in my early experience with discipleship and evangelism is the fact that God could finish the work on his his own but why does he need to do this like he did the day God could just speak one word and finish the gospel right speech every soul everywhere on the planet Earth and they would know in their hearts they heard from the Creator and do you accept or do you not write just put the little 2 boxes like in kindergarten do you like me yes or no and it's like Ok yes I like usis and I want to follow. But the truth is one of my favorite authors wrote a quote that said that God has given us the work of spreading the gospel so that we can develop a character like Christ by doing the work that Jesus did so the character that Jesus had and the transformation that produced the person that we say defines history and time b.c. and a.d. and has done more to influence society than any other figure in the history of the world was produced by the very work a fit of witnessing and to me that's what really kind of helped me to really process the fact that I should this is about your own transformation and there's no other way for you to be like your master to be like Christ and to say I truly love Jesus and want to imitate him and yet I'm not going to do the various work that he did while he was on earth. When this all goes go back goes back to the Great Commission the spec from episode one of Matthew chapter 28 Go ye therefore you do all these things but the main verb is to make disciples of to be disciples by others and to disciple other people after you though the cool thing about acceptor 8 that I see is that it's about witnessing but this is this is one passage of bring these 3 elements together as he's witnessing he needs to talk about the Bible I mean they're studying Isaiah and you 3 that the Bible the Word of God is the content of which what they're witnessing to when I think about it and what you're talking about yeah but to get to that point to Mitt they need a holy spirit and that's really through prayer and for having a deep connection with God and the Holy Spirit so these things work together kind of like when you're working out you're working now and I realize I realize when I don't work out I get I don't feel a need for it but I do get lazy or I do gain weight in a sense not in a sense I do and then but when I when I do work you know my breathing level goes higher my hunger goes higher and the story kind of all kind of work together you know and it's kind of already interrelated and it's really to feed this new man that you know I love you know I was talking about that this is you know the process of transformation that takes place in our lives and it really is a life long thing and we see that with Philip here too he had this incredible experience with the Holy Spirit guiding him to do this if you open your knees through which the gospel went to Africa by the way so that's a pretty powerful thing that's going on there you never know who you witnessing to what will be the repercussions that's right but then important 40 if this Philip was found 1st of all can we please talk about for a 2nd the fact that the whole is clear you know or just really clear right now I mean I want to experience that one but then before the hospital it was felt as though. And passing through he preached all the cities to it came to this era so he was not just like you know I'm going on this mission trip great experience 2 weeks later I'm done I've done my service No he just continues he just he's on going this is his life his god mission is his life there's that's just direction that's what defines him preaching Jesus to the world it's not a I want time program a one time experience it's an ongoing lifelong experience through which the transformation Sebastian talked about takes place in our lives. Right that's going to Cali Cali how can we get into this mindset and make it natural and consistent and and exciting and zealous. Well that's a really intense question. I think that really does every single wave that I feel at the pressure to how do you solve everyone's problem of witnessing go Ok. I think that the main part is just to spend that time with Jesus and to pray for that that connection with him I can say that I have struggled for a long time I'm not so much now but like in the very early parts of my my 1st experience right hated witnessing the idea made me nauseous and I fell awkward and I was terrified but it came from an idea of you know I have to like consensus person to be a Christian in one conversation I don't know how to do that and but that's that's not what witnessing is your goal in this scene is I do yeah I just that's the goal but like you can't convert people the Holy Spirit does that so the Holy Spirit uses us and again I try to go back segment the in 5 I love that picture of ambassadors for Christ so God is preventing through us to be reconciled to himself that's what we're doing so we share parts of who Jesus is through His Word we pray with people we we answer their questions and we do also tell them that he is coming again soon but we take that that he that opportunity to share what we can and whatever the Holy Spirit puts on our heart I love Cristo centricity of your comment and that's what really what Philip is doing here he says here he just starting from the beginning of scripture as he preached Jesus to him that's our pleading for all of us and I hope the problem you that we're asked that you continue the conversation if you go to our social media outlets can go to our handle in verse Bible and go to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and you can also go to hope to me dot orangey splashin of our society all the past present and some future episodes of inverse. You've been listening to inverse a Bible based part of the station the callee word is wrong Jonathan Walter Sebastian Braxton. And your host Justin 10 inverses brought to you by the hope channel television that changes lives for good and more inspiring episodes visit in bursts hope t.v. news that Origen find us on social media hashtags in verse 5 until next time this isn't verse.


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